An H5 is one of the Hierarchical Data Formats (HDF) used to store large amount of data. It is used to store large amount of data in the form of multidimensional arrays. The format is primarily used to store scientific data that is well-organized for quick retrieval and analysis. H5 was introduced as a more enhanced file format to H4. It was originally developed by the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications, and is now supported by The HDF Group.
Brief History of HDF File Format
The HDF file format was selected by NASA as standard method for storing scientific data. Before this, the formulation of such a standard started in 1987 by the Graphics Foundations Task Force (GFTF) and HDF was formally approved after investigation of 15 different file formats.
HDF5 File Format
H5 files are in Hierarchical Data Format that adheres to HDF5 file format specifications. These specifications lay the overall structure of the HDF5 file for storage on disc but end users don’t need these underlying details.
H5 files are commonly used in aerospace, physics, engineering, finance, academic research, genomics, astronomy, electronics instruments, and medical fields.
HDF5 Data Model
HDF5 file is like a container that comprises of heterogeneous data objects. For example, these datasets can be images, tables, text elements, graphs, and even documents such as PDF and Excel documents.
H5 File Viewer
The HDF group provides HDFView software that consists of the HDFView utility and the Java HDF Object Package.